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After Community Outrage, Rockstar Games Takes a Step Back on Shutting Down Mods

Rockstar Games and Take-Two won’t shut down any more mods as long as they comply with their rules, according to a post Rockstar Games made on their support forum.

Here is what Rockstar Games had to say about PC single-player mods:

“Question: Are PC Single-Player Mods Allowed?

Answer: Rockstar Games believes in reasonable fan creativity, and, in particular, wants creators to showcase their passion for our games. After discussions with Take-Two, Take-Two has agreed that it generally will not take legal action against third-party projects involving Rockstar’s PC games that are single-player, non-commercial, and respect the intellectual property (IP) rights of third parties. This does not apply to (i) multiplayer or online services; (ii) tools, files, libraries, or functions that could be used to impact multiplayer or online services, or (iii) use or importation of other IP (including other Rockstar IP) in the project. This is not a license, and it does not constitute endorsement, approval, or authorization of any third-party project. Take-Two reserves the right to object to any third-party project, or to revise, revoke and/or withdraw this statement at any time in their own discretion. This statement does not constitute a waiver of any rights that Take-Two may have with respect to third-party projects.”

It seems that not many people found this article to be useful, with 278 out of 523 users (at the time of posting) finding that it helped them to understand Rockstar Games’ rules a little better. Yikes.

Rockstar Games and Take-Two were recently criticized for shutting down a mod for Grand Theft Auto V named OpenIV. The two companies claimed that the reason for shutting down the popular mod was due to it allowing players to cheat, according to the cease-and-desist letter the moderators of OpenIV received.

“We feared that this day would come… And now it’s here. The day, when GTA modding was declared illegal,” it said in the cease-and-desist letter. “GTA modding had long and glorious history. Since [Grand Theft Auto III], people have created lots of different mods: from simple texture replacements to impressive full conversions.”

As a result of OpenIV shutting down, the Grand Theft Auto community responded with anger. One way they showed Rockstar Games and Take-Two their anger over the loss of a mod was by giving Grand Theft Auto V unfavorable ratings on Steam, according to GameSpot.

“Yes, we can go to court and yet again prove that modding is fair use and our actions are legal. Yes, we could. But we decided not to. Going to court will take at least few months of our time and huge amount of efforts, and, at best, we’ll get absolutely nothing,” it said in the cease-and-desist letter. “Spending time just to restore status quo is really unproductive, and all the money in the world can’t compensate the loss of time. So, we decided to agree with their claims and we’re stopping distribution of OpenIV.”

One of the biggest struggles of the modding community is trying to figure out where they would be crossing the line when it comes to modding certain games. Each company has an extremely different policy, so while one game may encourage players to create mods that can change the game’s visuals or even gameplay, other companies refuse to allow it.

Grand Theft Auto has had one of the largest modding communities in gaming over the franchise’s lifespan, so its confusing to see how Rockstar Games and Take Two ruled that this specific mod allowed players to cheat. Hopefully, other mods won’t have to shut down after OpenIV’s case, and that Rockstar Games and Take Two are more transparent on what mods can and cannot include in-game.

Featured image via Flickr/BagoGames

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